Posted on 2/17/14 10:06 PM
Okay, here we go. I took a few weeks off from writing about the Harry Potter movies, as my brain was hemorrhaging from having to relive the experience of watching these movies. Let's pick up where we left off, shall we? I absolutely despise the Harry Potter movies, because not only are they completely atrocious and (for some reason) critically acclaimed, they also destroyed my childhood, which entirely revolved around these books. Speaking of the books, time for some backstory: After JK Rowling wrote Order of the Phoenix, she must have realized that she couldn't keep writing whole chapters on Dumbledore's mother's father's brother's sister's step-aunt's former roommate, and decided to tone down the expository paragraphs a bit. The Half-Blood Prince was the result, a good book by all standards, but not quite up to the very high bar set by the first four installments in the franchise. However, it remains my favorite of the last three books, all of which suffer a significant dip in quality from the first four. The story of The Half-Blood Prince is actually quite good up until the end, where the red herring plot twist completely overshadows everything else in the book. But of course, David Yates got his grubby hands on this thing... and this film is the result.
The only good thing I can say about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (the film) is that I've completely forgotten it. Unlike other films in this series like The Goblet of Fire, The Order of the Phoenix, and The Long-Ass Movie Part II of Part VII, no part of this film stuck in my mind enough to warrant me losing sleep at night. Still, I despise this movie for its random plot points, hilariously bad dialogue, poorly handled direction, and the WORST... DEATH... SCENE... EVER. I can't 100% loathe this movie with every fiber of my being like I do with those previously mentioned films, but that's because it commits an even greater sin: It's completely forgettable. It literally just kills time until the twin Deathly Hallows movies. Every moment in this movie is complete bullshit, because you can sum every important plot point from it up in three words: Snape kills Dumbledore. There, now you don't have to watch it.
After the events of The Anus of the Phoenix, Harry and Co. have started battling the dark lord Voldemort... even though all Voldemort really does in this film is stare at people creepily and put his hand on his follower's shoulders. Seriously, why do bad guys always have to be so overdramatic about stuff? "You.......... have........... a new.................................. assignment..." Just tell him what the fuck it is! Jesus. Anyway, Harry and Dumbledore go off to visit some fat guy named Horace Slughorn, who is to be the new potions teacher at Hogwarts. Snape (Alan Rickman) is taking over Defense Against the Dark Arts, so we pretty much know he's going to be gone by the end of the movie. Wow, such suspense. So after Harry and Dumbledore get Slughorn to come to the school (a scene that we didn't really need, but... okay...), Harry meets up with Ginger Jake Lloyd and Post-Puberty Emma Watson. Needless to say, only 33% of the scenes between these three are good. So after the three of them jackass around for a little bit, a new year at Hogwarts starts. Wait, a new year? So all that talk about a war brewing wasn't serious? "Ooh, I have a great idea! There's a guy out to kill all the good guys, right? Well, let's make sure all the good guys end up in a crowded and decidedly unsafe building for nine months, along with 1/4th of the school population, which is probably evil and will side with him in case of a fight! Also, we won't kick that butthurt albino Draco Malfoy out of the school, even though we all pretty much fucking know that his dad is an uber-bad-guy! BRILLIANT!"
Honestly, I don't want to pick the plots for these movies apart too much, because they're based on the books. But I really judge movies differently than books, probably because I don't write reviews for books and therefore don't analyze them to death. While writing these reviews, I'm starting to see some major plot holes in the original stories. But it doesn't matter, because David Yates makes it way worse than anything Rowling could have come up with. The dialogue in this film is just laughably bad. Some of the dialogue between Harry and Ron feels a little... well, I don't want to say "gay," so I'll say "Sam and Frodo-y." Also, do we actually care about Ron's little romantic subplot? I mean, sure, Rowling put it in the book. Why does that mean you have to include it in the movie? You don't! I cared so little about Harry's bullshit with that random Asian chick in the last movie, so why bother trying to make me care about RON of all people? Ugh. I will admit, though, this movie pulls off the occasional good one-liner, but when it does, they're usually lifted from the book. Still, Alan Rickman's pitch-perfect delivery of the line "Once again, you astonish me with your gifts Potter. Gifts mere mortals could only dream of possessing. How grand it must be, to be the chosen one" is great. But seriously, not even Alan Rickman can save a movie that has Daniel Radcliffe in it.
Of course, this is the movie that introduces the concept of the horcrux, Voldemort's little insurance policy to make sure he never dies. He puts a bit of his soul in inanimate objects, and then hides them away for safekeeping. But this begs the obvious question... why make it such important objects? Why not just, say, a random rock he found on the ground, which he could then chuck away for no one to find? Or, why not make it a spacecraft part, so that his horcrux would end up orbiting Pluto until the end of time? Or how about making it the entire island of Great Britain, or something else that is practically indestructible? And why would he leave clues to their locations? Okay, never mind. So Harry and Dumbledore go off to destroy one of Voldie's horcruxes, but then Dumbledore is forced to drink Mountain Dew in order to get to it. Of course, Mountain Dew is toxic, so he begins to die. Then, before he dies, Snape kills him.
I had a problem with this in the book, and I still do in the movie. In fact, it's emphasized here. Firstly, why can't Snape tell Harry that he and Dumbledore cooked this whole scheme up a long time ago? Why not make sure that someone knows what the fuck's up? Then, why did he have to kill Dumbledore? Clearly, Dumbledore was going to die anyway at some point soon, and therefore Snape wouldn't have to get his hands dirty and Malfoy would still have carried out his task... kind of. But the biggest lame lame here is Dumbledore's last words: "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRGH!!!" Really? "The coin don't have no say!" "Rose... bud..." "Who do you think I am? I'm fucking Tony Montana!" Last words are critical for a character's death! And you made him just go "Fuuuuck..." and then fall and die? Jesus! I thought Rowling had more respect for her characters than that. But I guess not... also, she "outed" Dumbledore in an interview, and then went on to say that The Sorting Hat was bisexual and that Fawkes the phoenix wears women's underwear. God, this movie sucks.
Final Score for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: 1/10 stars. This is up from my original score of -0/10, but I realized that I should be just as exclusive with my -0s as I am with my 10/10s. Really, this movie is absolutely awful, but it doesn't quite reach the point of The Anus of the Phoenix in terms of pure childhood rape. Still, it's one of the worst movies ever made, which makes it still one of the best movies in this franchise. God, that's depressing. Anyway, now that you've read this review, you can literally skip this movie and get to the last two films... which are about four hours of people staring at each other, followed by a really big explosion and then a bad death scene. Ugh, reviewing these is gonna suck...
But Emma Watson is hot! +1.
STAY TUNED FOR THE SEVENTH INSTALLMENT OF THIS SPECIAL EDITION OF TUT'S TUTILLATING REVIEWS: HARRY POTTER AND THE RAPE OF MY CHILDHOOD! Coming soon!